As the world around you keeps changing, perhaps it’s time to rethink your leadership approach and style. If you’re still relying on old leadership techniques, how effective and relevant do you think they are?
In the not-so-distant past, leadership was viewed as a static phenomenon. It was often closely associated with a fixed leadership style, a certain set of behaviors, and skills that could (and should) be honed to perfection.
Even today, we witness emerging leadership approaches with set-in-stone criteria for good leadership. Such approaches are based on the underlying assumption that there is the right way to lead, which might look convincing on paper.
In reality, given the fast-paced work environments and the myriad of complex situations they face, leaders cannot address the challenges with a single approach to leadership, no matter which leadership theory it is backed up by.
To be able to navigate the challenges and shift along with the environments, leaders must be constantly aware of themselves, the people around them, and the system in which they work. With continual awareness of self, others, and situations, leaders must develop multiple skillsets and move between them dynamically and fluidly based on the needs of the environment. Another common assumption underlying conventional leadership approaches is that leaders should aim for perfection.
I find that striving for excellence may be counterproductive and result in situations when leaders become risk-averse, compliant, and highly stressed. Instead of teaching leaders to strive for perfection, we teach course correction. In other words, we assume techniques and approaches don’t always work. We teach leaders to be resilient and stay solution-focused when (not if) they go off-track.
Finally, it’s important to shift from an “either-or” to a “both-and” thinking. For example, I believe that a leader can be both directive and collaborative, and both approaches have upsides and downsides.
All in all, MCG’s philosophy is built around the idea that the dynamic approach to leadership allows leaders to find the right balance and learn how to surf the waves of change, unpredictability, and ambiguity.
What leadership approach resonates with you the most?